TORONTO – Prime Ministers Theresa May of Britain and Justin Trudeau of Canada said Monday their countries are working toward a new bilateral trade deal for after the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union.
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Both leaders said the template for a deal would be the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, which comes largely into effect this week between Canada and the European Union.
CETA eliminates over 90 percent of trade barriers between Canada and the EU, and Trudeau said it provides "an excellent basis for ensuring a smooth transition" post-Brexit.
May also said using the Canada-EU agreement as the basis for a bilateral deal will ensure the best path forward for all parties.
"We want to ensure that for businesses and individuals, that there is as smooth a changeover when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union as possible," she said. "We want to see as little disruption to economies and to people's lives."
"That's why we believe it makes sense to take the trade agreement — which the UK is part of, it's part of the European Union — with Canada, and say that that is the basis at that point at which we leave for a bilateral relationship with the U.K. and Canada," May added.